Joni Eareckson Tada;
As a teenager, Joni loved life. She enjoyed riding horses, hiking, tennis, and loved to swim. But on a hot summer day in July 1967 (Sunday July 30) that all changed. While on a beach with some friends, Joni dove into Chesapeake Bay not knowing how shallow the water was. She broke her neck—a fracture between the fourth and fifth cervical levels—and became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down. While her friends were preparing to go to college in the fall, Joni was fighting for her life and facing the fact that she would have to live the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Joni’s rehabilitation was not easy, and she struggled through it for the next two years. She was angry, struggled with depression, and had frequent thoughts of suicide. She participated in various rehabilitation programs that taught her how to live with her disabilities, and she immersed herself in God’s word to become spiritually strong.
Joni is a writer and a much sought after speaker;once after an engagement at a woman's Christian conference she was approached, "Joni you always look so together, so happy in your wheelchair, I wish I had your joy!" Joni responded, "I don't do it. In fact, let me tell you how I woke up this morning. This is my average day: After my husband leaves for work at 6 a.m., I am alone until I hear the front door open at 7 a.m. That is when a friend arrives to get me up. While I listen to her make coffee, I pray. Lord,my friend will soon give me a bath, get me dressed, sit me up in my chair, brush my hair and teeth, and send me out the door. I don't have the strength to face this routine one more time. I have no resources. I don't have a smile to take into this day. But You do. May I have yours?"
"So ....whatever joy you see today was hard won this morning. And in reality, it's only what I begged from God today."
My challenges, whatever they might be, just got a whole lot smaller. How about yours?